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Diabetes & Feet: The Top Five Important Factors for Healthy Feet
  • Dr. Lewis Freed, DPM
  • |

Diabetes & Feet: The Top Five Important Factors for Healthy Feet

Foot health is extremely important for diabetics. In fact, it’s one of the most common and serious complications diabetics can encounter. Foot problems with diabetics are so common that they’re actually more of a financial burden in the US than any individual cancer.

The reasons diabetics develop foot problems is the unholy triad of the diabetic foot. This includes neuropathy (or numb feet), peripheral vascular disease (or bad circulation), and altered immune system (or less of an ability to fight infection).

However, just because you are a diabetic does not mean you have to have foot problems. With proper education and diligence, diabetics can live their entire life and not develop a foot problem.  

Here are the top five most important factors for healthy feet:

One

Look at your feet several times a day! Use your eyes to make up for the loss of feeling. Look at the bottom of your feet with a mirror. This cannot be stressed enough!

Early recognition of foot problems is critical for a good outcome. So if you see anything unusual or different, contact a healthcare provider.

Two

Control your blood sugar levels. Studies show with tight diabetic blood sugar control, the complications of diabetes can be limited. This is critical for all aspects of the diabetics and will help lead to a more healthy life.

Eggs, kale, spinach, avocado, and tomatoes are all great foods for helping control blood sugar levels.

Three

Do not go barefoot in the house, or for that matter, out of the house. Unfortunately, most accidents which cause cuts abrasions injuries and puncture wounds occur in the house when patients are barefoot.  

Photograph by Katy Karnes. Model is wearing Northcoast boots.

This may seem inconvenient, but compared to dealing with a diabetic foot problem it is really very minor. A simple stub of a toe in a diabetic could be life altering!

Socks don’t count. Think of shoes like a seatbelt in your car, you don’t expect anything to happen but if it does it helps to have your seat belt/shoes on.

Proper shoe gear is critical. Recognizing that shoes protect your feet from the outside world, it is important to make sure that they are not the source of the problem. Proper fit and quality will ensure the best protection possible.

Try a pair of Hubbards. I always recommend them to my patients for their superior comfort, breathability, and support.

Our Best-Selling Hubbard Frees in Navy Nubuck

The Hubbard Insole:

Triple-density memory foam insoles featuring superior-comfort Poron® 

under a layer of silky smooth leather—conforms to the unique shape of your foot for a custom fit.

Four

Do not use anything sharp on your skin or callus removal products. If you feel the urge to do this, contact the health provider and have this done professionally. You do not want to be the cause of your own problems. 

Also, keep your skin moisturized with a rich foot cream so that sheer on your skin can be avoided.

Five

Education is the most critical component of healthy feet. While this is a great start, it’s important to further your knowledge on this subject if you’re diabetic. If problems with your feet arise, contact a foot and ankle specialist (or your primary care physician) immediately.

Do not wait to see if it is going to get better. It is better to be safe than sorry. Healthy feet are happy feet! 

Photograph by Tiffany Peck. Model is wearing Hubbard Fasts in Ocean Blue.

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Dr. Lewis Freed, DPM is a practicing podiatrist and member of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). He recommends that in addition to reading this article, all people with diabetes should follow-up with their healthcare providers.

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Main photo by Cen Isabel Delos Reys.